What's wrong with the Isles?

February, 12, 2013
2/12/13
11:35
AM ET
With a 6-4 loss to Carolina Monday night, the Islanders are amidst a five-game losing streak that has them tumbling to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Despite early signs that the team could be turning a corner and poised for its first playoff appearance in six years, the Islanders will have to make up some ground before they re-enter the conversation.

With a 4-7-1 record and nine points, the Isles rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, just two points ahead of the woeful Washington Capitals, and last in the Atlantic Division.

What or who to blame?

The team is 29th in the league in goals against per game, with a whopping 3.58 surrendered, and one needs to look no further than the club's goaltending tandem as to why.

Neither starter Evgeni Nabokov (4-5-1, 3.00, .897) or backup Rick DiPietro (0-2-0, 4.60, .842) have save percentages above .900 and the latter gave up three third-period goals in the team's most recent loss.

Too bad the trade for Tim Thomas wasn't more than a salary-cap transaction. It's not just his $5 million cap hit they could use.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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